Hate it or love it, the way the game is constituted, the pursuit of overnight fame has been reduced to a matter of minutes. Crazy. Today, even overnight sensations don’t have to put in as much work. That chasm adds yet another differentiating trait from current artists. Now, people who do what they’re supposed to do to pop are looked at as standouts as opposed to the norm.
Bizzy Crook, hailing from Miami fits snuggly into the latter category. In 2011, Crook released his first mixtape, “PS I’m Sorry,” while still attending high school. The ambition and quality of the material caught the attention of music-industry powerhouse Mona Scott, who eventually signed Crook to his first record deal. Soon after, Crook and his label decided to part ways.
That split, while not the sole reason, led to a bout of depression, with suicide viewed as an option. That depression also would provide a muse for his future material as an artist, much like one of his favorite musicians, Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem.
“Eminem made me rap and Hov raised me,” Crook says of his musical inspirations. “I was 8 years old and my teachers were asking what we wanted to be, and the minute I heard ‘My Name Is’ and ‘Guilty Conscious,’ I knew it was that. He was on the news, and people were made to fear him. He was cussing. As an 8-year-old, I thought everything he said was crazy. Then add he was white, [that] made him more fearless to me.”
Like Em, Crook found a way to channel his emotional state and, more importantly, saw the impression art can have. “The best thing that ever happened to me personally from music was when somebody came up to to me and said my music [a song called ‘If It Wasn’t You’ in particular] ‘saved my life,’” he says. “It gave me a new direction.”
He continues, “I have a song called ‘Oath,’ where I also speak honestly, and I have people of all races, ethnicities and genders hit me up and say that song ‘changed my life.’ This is something I was doing since I was a kid, but I didn’t have a purpose. I was rapping, but I wasn’t totally comfortable being open. But I found if a song can have that impact, it makes me think that it might be my responsibility to do that more often.”
The pending successes put him back on track. With his next release, called “84,” he landed an opening slot, with former Bad Boy artist King Los, for the My Own Lane tour, headlined by Kid Ink. The next project, called “No Hard Feelings,” released in 2014 and currently having more than 2 million streams, got him another opener position, with rap group Audio Push, for the Simply Nothing tour starring Wale.
In addition to touring, Crook has performed at events such as South by Southwest and Hot97’s “Who’s Next” showcase, while garnering national attention in outlets the likes of Billboard magazine’s Artist on the Verge vlass of 2015, and was recently featured on the music streaming service Tidal under the “Tidal Discovery” segment.
This exposure leads to his next big move and he is prepped to take the stage at one of the premiere music festivals in the country, Budweiser Made in America. Jay Z not only curates the two-day music festival but also his latest venture, Tidal, has added a stage where nine Tidal Rising and Tidal Discovery artists, featured on the global music and entertainment platform, will perform. “My goal every night is to make an impact and gain new fans,” says Crook. “Whether it’s five people in the room or 50,000, I want someone to leave saying, ‘Let me go to the computer and check this kid.’”
This weekend, he gets that
“I’ve been waiting to get on a festival stage for a long time, and for it to be Made in America is an incredible feeling,” Crook confesses. “I’ve been working hard on a new project. Musically, it’s unlike anything I’ve done before, and I get to introduce it to the world for the first time on that stage. It’s gonna be lit. You already know.”
Budweiser’s fourth annual Made in America music festival is set for it’s home base of Philly (Benjamin Franklin Parkway) this weekend, Sept. 5 to 6, and features Beyonce, the Weekend, J Cole, Meek Mill, Big Sean and De La Soul as some of the featured artist. Tidal will provide a livestream of the festival if you can’t make the trek. See you there?
Over and out. Holla next week. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.